Novartis CEO on partnering with Google on contact lenses

Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez on innovation in health care, integrating GlaxoSmithKline assets and concerns over the potential regulation of pharmaceutical pricing.

Novartis, Google Creating Lenses that Correct Vision in a Millisecond

By Innovation FOXBusiness

Novartis (NVS) is turning to innovation for growth. That’s why the company has decided to partner with Google (GOOGL) to develop high tech contact lenses to correct vision and perhaps help diabetics.

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“It’s really a great time for innovation medicine,” CEO Joseph Jimenez told FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo.

According to Jimenez, the aging population will lead to an increased demand for eye care over the next ten years.

“In our Alcon business, we’ve seen some competitive pressures in intraocular lenses and we’ve also seen a little bit of a slowdown in emerging markets -- and so I think once we generate the kind of innovation in that division… we are going to see growth,” he said.

Jimenez said the lenses will contain a sensor that allows your eye to autofocus and measure glucose levels.

“The sensor actually looks at where your eye is focusing. So, if you’re looking down reading, it will allow the lens to correct the vision and if you look up and look at a distance, in a millisecond, it allows your eye to look at a distance.”

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Jimenez explained how innovation is “key” in the pharmaceutical industry.

“We are already seeing willingness in emerging markets, a willingness to pay for drugs if they offer a material benefit over existing drugs and if they extend life.”

He also discussed regulation and pricing.

“I think it’s up to the pharmaceutical industry to look at the value that each of our drugs, our new drugs, is delivering to patients and to price it responsibly.”

Jimenez also said Novartis is making great progress in the fight against cancer.

“Data is allowing us to manage disease like we never have been able to ever before, just in terms of targeting. So, deep sequencing of the human genome has enabled us to look at different tumors and look at genetic mutations that are implicated in different tumor-types opening up new targets for Novartis. So it’s really a great time for innovative medicine.”

 

 

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